On April 2nd, students at Central High School hosted a forum where they interviewed the Philadelphia Mayoral candidates.
The forum, attended by the senior social science class at Central, had students from the class posing questions to the candidates about the city and the upcoming election. It required an opening statement, three rounds of questioning with one minute to answer each question, and a closing statement from each of the candidates. Public safety and education reform dominated the candidates’ list of priorities.
A panelist of three Central students asked the candidates questions covering a range of topics, including the School District of Philadelphia’s education policies, public transportation, housing, and crime-related issues. The lottery system, which determines student placement in Philadelphia schools, was a hot topic of discussion that affects students in the city’s public school system. Candidates offered their different perspectives over these concerns, with most of them condemning it.
While the majority of the candidates attended the forum, Jeff Brown and Cherelle Parker did not attend the event. The 90-minute session provided a unique opportunity for the students to engage with the candidates and gain insight into their policies and perspectives.
The forum can be seen as a live recording by PCNTV on cable. Central High School has been hosting mayoral forums since 2007 and has a long history of political engagement in the school. They conduct mock elections and a mayor’s cut where seniors vote on a candidate annually.
Students say the forum was a valuable opportunity for them to engage with the candidates and gain insight into their policies and perspectives on concerns about Philadelphia. The event was a testament to the power of civic engagement and the importance of empowering young people to take an active role in shaping their communities and participating in the democratic process.
As the election approaches, it opens up an opportunity for young people to engage with the candidates and their policies, and to make informed decisions when casting their votes. Central’s mayoral forum allowed the students to do that.
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